Adrenal fatigue shouldn’t be confused with adrenal insufficiency, a legitimate medical condition that can be diagnosed with laboratory tests and has a defined symptomatology. Addison’s disease causes primary adrenal insufficiency and usually has an autoimmune cause, with symptoms appearing when most of the adrenal cortex has been destroyed. Secondary adrenal insufficiency is cause by pituitary disorder that gives insufficient hormonal stimulation to the adrenals. Some liken adrenal fatigue to a milder form of adrenal insufficiency — but there’s no underlying pathology that has been associated with adrenal fatigue.
Indeed, an article from a São Paulo university was released in 2016 with the title: “Adrenal fatigue does not exist: a systematic review.” According to this review, results of acceptable studies available to them at the time had “conflicting results” and could provide no definitive proof of the disease, nor diagnostic criteria or adrenal fatigue treatment. (4)
Hi Jill, thank you for this. I have been trying to uncover the cause of what ails me, just looking at food culprit vs the underlying cause. I have reason to believe Adrenal fatigue may be an issue. I get to a point at work when stress just feels like it is literally through the roof, like there is so much pressure in my head and throat and chest with no where to go and I just can’t function. Do you have any recommendations for where can I get tested for adrenal fatigue in California? I have Kaiser and don’t want to spend a ton of time and money figuring this out, so any recommendations are much appreciate.
Dr. Michael Lam is a western-trained physician and nutritional medicine pioneer. In this landmark textbook, he presents the scientific, neuroendocrine evidence in great detail behind this condition. Dr Lam also shares his clinical pearls that he uses to help countless individuals around the world recover from this condition through his nutritional coaching. He utilizes both conventional and alternative approaches. By separating the myths from facts with natural, safe, and effective solutions, anyone can follow this step-by-step approach to regain energy and lost vitality.
The effectiveness of this multi-system treatment was further confirmed through the analysis of the cumulative findings of over 40 independent physicians and over 5,000 patients. Prior to the treatment at the Holtorf Medical Group, the patients had seen an average of 7.2 different physicians for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia without significant improvement.
Scientists in China have designed a cohort study to examine the interaction of genetics, biomarkers and environmental exposures with health metrics lead to chronic diseases. A validated questionnaire, along with a large battery of tests, has led them to develop a classification referred to as “suboptimal health.” This phase is essentially a step between optimal health and diagnosable illness or disease characterized by “the perception of health complaints, general weakness, chronic fatigue and low energy levels.”
So what does this mean for Adrenal Fatigue sufferers? It depends on which stage of the condition you have reached. In the early stages, consistently high levels of cortisol suppress your immune response and leave you vulnerable to infection. In the later stages of Adrenal Fatigue, low levels of cortisol can lead to chronic inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. Neither is a good outcome, and so your Adrenal Fatigue treatment should focus on restoring cortisol to a sustainable, balanced level.
CoQ10 plays a vital role in helping the body to manage stress. Research has shown that supplementation with CoQ10 helps to reduce signs of inflammation in the blood and fight oxidative stress. Stress is a significant cause of inflammation, which – on top of adrenal fatigue – is linked to chronic health problems of the brain and cardiovascular system. Your stress-coping mechanisms become weaker with age, and are particularly vulnerable when cortisol is running low.

The adrenal glands secrete over 50 hormones including the metabolic intermediates (known since 1965). The adrenal glands are important glands to keep us balanced. Norepinephrine fight or flight hormones are needed the first part of stress response. Most of adrenal glands regulated by blood flow – HPA Axis and hormones. Most of our hormones are secreted by adrenal glands so if are adrenals are tired and overworked then the hormones may become below normal levels. The sex hormones and the stress hormones need to work together. Blood sugar is important to keep normal during stressful situations. If adrenals are not functioning their best, then we can’t perform as well as we need to. If cortisol is too low or too high, then other hormones may be out of balance- the body is very delicate and has innate intelligence to keep functioning with daily demands of life.


After a while, though, he started putting on a lot of weight – close to thirty pounds, actually. He has experience significant fluid retention, and his blood sugar was getting unstable (heading towards diabetes). But whenever he stopped or lowered the dose, his energy simply plummeted, worse than ever before. He was in a bind, and that is when he came to see us.
If you tend to be dehydrated and don’t get thirsty, know that your body is demonstrating stressed adrenals. Try to rehydrate using an electrolyte solution containing targeted nutrients which will trigger the Sodium-Glucose Cotransport System allowing your body to absorb fluids more readily from the small intestine (water otherwise is reabsorbed in the large intestine). I’m using CellFood, Essential Minerals, sea salt, sodium bicarbonate, and table sugar in water and I have noticed a big difference in how my body is using water. You can also look into an over-the-counter product such as DripDrop.
Would there be anyway I could talk with you? – I have a 17 year old son, that has SUFFERED for the last 7 years with Adrenal Fatigue… I have tried everything i know to do. – He has NO energy, depressed almost all the time. Has dropped out of school, cries most everyday. —- Can hardly get out of bed in the mornings… The medical system, just dont seem to care. You can only weigh , measure and take ones blood pressure so many times. – There has to be someone that can help us.- I’m a single father and its killing me to see him suffer this way.
I was diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue and have been under a naturopathic dr’s treatment for months and have improved somewhat. in the beginning when I crashed, my blood pressure was very low. Now that I am on the road to healing (and its such a long road), the bottom number of my blood pressure continues to rise until now it is almost always in the upper ’90’s. The top number has remained great. Have you heard of this before? I’m wondering what is causing my bottom number to rise.

I’m hoping maybe you can unconfuse me. I recently had an adrenal stress index done as well as a full thyroid panel because I’ve experienced all the symptoms you’ve mentioned above and more (headaches, inability to lose baby weight despite trying, etc). I’ve even taken the questionnaire you linked ( and a few others) and they all come back indicating some amount of adrenal fatigue.
Traditional health practitioners have known for centuries that mindfulness-based exercises such as meditation and yoga help to relieve stress and anxiety. Regular practice improves your ability to respond to stress in the future. Being in a meditative state allows certain thoughts or feelings to pass by without causing stress or anxiety, which means you spend less time focusing on negative thoughts.
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As I belong the forensic medicine branch and my observation is first rule out metabolic disorders, endocrinal disturbance , systematic diseases and any one defiantly find out the cause if they are not responsible then the fatigue is psychological if this is also not responsible than it is left for various environmental factors such as age, sex, life style, eating habits etc etc.

I suffer with all of these I have fibro,bulging discs, degenerative discs, prolapse, annular tear, carp tunnel, tendonitis, cholesterol levels, folic acid deficiency, panic disorder, fobias, asthma, hypersensitivity to stimuli, ,I have raynauds symptoms, and rheumatoid arthritis getting tests for them they keep saying I don’t have autoimmune illnesses
Very clear, medical explanation of adrenal fatigue and why today's doctors prefer to ignore it (no big pharma money in it). The questionnaire is thorough, and there's an extremely detailed guide to how to recover, especially using diet. I need to read this part again to absorb it properly - it's overwhelming at first. I may return and give this five stars when I'm able to absorb and maybe even implement all the details on how to recover.
Another study, released in 2005, found that students diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome had “alterations in adrenal function,” particularly in females, suggesting that their adrenal glands were no longer receiving a normal amount of stimulation. (11) And it’s not just about the amount of sleep you get — researchers at Brandeis University discovered that the quality, rather than the quantity of sleep, affects the body’s normal cortisol responses when exposed to stress. (12)
You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day.
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